As an educator, I am always trolling for resources and ways to get kids “hooked” on science. One place I come back to again and again is PBS.org. Shows like Nova and Nature have great full length videos , short clips, articles, and lesson plans that highlight interesting, cutting edge science that are great for many uses in the classroom. Just today I came across a three part series from Nature titled Animal Homes. This series has a great tie in to the Engineering Design Standards in the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards.) There are full episodes, short clips of animals, and behind the scenes videos available.
The behind the scenes videos highlight problem solving and real-world scientific thinking. Here is one on how they modified their cameras to film shy puffins.
On the page for Nature, you can search by topic, animal/species, or classroom which has videos, resources, and discussion questions that are all tied to National Standards. You can also go to Nova Education and search by topic for great videos, online games, and resources on all manner of topics from the Hubble Telescope to Fibonacci Numbers to Mapping the Brain.
Whether you are looking for a quick video to hook your students into a lesson, a resource for background information, or a lesson complete with discussion questions tied to standards to fit into a unit, PBS.org is a great place to look for inspiration.
Mary Ellen Kelly is a former Field Teacher/Naturalist with Mass Audubon. She currently splits her time between Woodstock, VT and New Rochelle, NY, and is the part-time Executive Director of a small nature center in New York.
Michelle Amato is a Science Educator at VINS. She spent eleven years as a middle school science teacher but wanted to spread her passion of environmental education and joined the VINS CEE team. Michelle earned her MEd at Miami University of Ohio and her BS in Middle Childhood Education at Kent State University.
Hannah Gelroth is the Director of the Center for Environmental Education at VINS. Hannah has experience teaching a wide range of programs to audiences of all ages and brings her love of the outdoors to her work. She received a MEd through Antioch University New England, a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Education from the University of Minnesota- Duluth, and a BS in Biology from Earlham College.